ISSN: 1578-665X | e-ISSN: 2014-928X An international journal devoted to the study and conservation of animal biodiversity, open-access, free for authors, driven by a fast-paced editorial process that includes assessment by experts. It is published twice a year.

Towards the mother-of-all-models: customised construction of the mark-recapture likelihood function

Barker, R. J.  White, G. C. 

Abstract

With a proliferation of mark–recapture models and studies collecting mark–recapture data, software and analysis methods are being continually revised. We consider the construction of the likelihood for a general model that incorporates all the features of the recently developed models: it is a multistate robust–design mark–recapture model that includes dead recoveries and resightings of marked animals and is parameterised in terms of state–specific recruitment, survival, movement, and capture probabilities, state–specific abundances, and state–specific recovery and resighting probabilities. The construction that we outline is based on a factorisation of the likelihood function with each factor corresponding to a different component of the data. Such a construction would allow the likelihood function for a mark–recapture analysis to be customized according to the components that are actually present in the dataset.

Key words

Capture–recapture, Mark–recapture, Likelihood

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